Contractor bails on millions in state, city construction work

EXCLUSIVE: Government contractor abandons millions in state and city construction work
Published: Jul. 27, 2017 at 11:13 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 28, 2017 at 11:34 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

MAILI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Back in November 2015, the state awarded a $14 million contract to an Idaho-based contractor to fix the dilapidated Maipalaoa Bridge in Maili.

It's considered one of the most dangerous bridges in the state. After nearly two years, contractor Performance Systems Inc. abandoned the project, completing just 5 percent of the job.

The project is one of at least eight city, state and federal contracts that PSI has walked away from in Hawaii in the past several years.

"I hope there's more investigation into those contracts, because this has been happening, people get contracts to do a job … then they walk away. Is that fair," said City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.

One of those contracts was a $3.4 million city road repair job on Kuahea Street in Palolo. The company paved some of the road before quitting the work.

Hawaii News Now has learned that another city agency, the Department of Environmental Services, awarded PSI a $9.3 million contract to build a solar farm at its HPower plant in Kapolei and a $2 million job at the Keehi Refuse Transfer Station.

"Don't they talk to one another? If you fail and default on a contract, you should be out of the game. You should not be receiving another contract," said environmental activist Carroll Cox.

The Maili bridge project has been delayed nearly two years, and some residents worry that it's only a matter of time before the structure is severely compromised.

"It's already falling apart if you look at it. It's being chipped away. The pipes are not strong," said Maili resident Marlene Pae. "Look how rotten it is."

The state said the bridge is inspected annually and is safe and that a bonding company will be responsible for completing the job.

The city said it's also working with PSI's bonding company to ensure the projects are completed at no waste to taxpayer money.

We asked the city how much it paid PSI, but they did not provide the information. They also did not immediately provide Hawaii News Now with access to PSI's contract files.

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